Scary Beauty Product Ingredients – Book Giveaway!

Trying to decipher an ingredients list or figure out which personal care products are safe can be overwhelming. But as the author of Healthy Beauty points out, “conventional cosmetics and personal-care products contain many frank and hidden carcinogens, making them the most important and still unrecognized class of avoidable carcinogen exposure for the overwhelming majority of consumers in major industrialized nations.” In his book, Samuel Epstein arms you with the knowledge to avoid those toxic ingredients and find safer products, including everything from toothpaste and deodorant to nail polish and anti-aging cream.

We are giving away a copy of Healthy Beauty: Your Guide to Ingredients to Avoid and Products You Can Trust by Samuel S. Epstein, MD with Randall Fitzgerald. Check out this excerpt and don’t forget to leave a comment for your chance to win the book!

Four Deadly but Avoidable Killers

The details in this book are a lot to remember, especially when they involve so many long, unfamiliar chemical names. But if you only avoid four ingredients or categories of ingredients described in this book, make it these four: talc, powdered titanium dioxide, sunscreens, and certain dark hair dyes.

Talc, or talcum powder, has been strongly linked to ovarian cancer, which has become the fourth most common fatal cancer in women (after breast, colon, and lung). Yet one out of five premenopausal women continues to use it as a dusting powder or on tampons.

Titanium dioxide powder, which often appears as a whitening agent in women’s cosmetics powders, has been shown in rodent testing to be a source of respiratory tract cancer if inhaled. Numerous studies have demonstrated this effect, yet its use remains widespread, even in products otherwise billing themselves as safe and natural.

Sunscreens, either alone or used in cosmetics or lotions, give users an illusion of safety that encourages them to stay out in the sun longer, exposing them to greater amounts of dangerous long-wave ultraviolet radiation. Sunscreens also contain chemicals linked in laboratory experiments to hormone disruption.

Hair dyes, specifically black and dark brown permanent and semi-permanent dyes, contain many frank and hidden carcinogens. Frequent and prolonged use of these dyes has been linked to leukemia, multiple myeloma, Hodgkin’s lymphoma, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and bladder and breast cancers. While the European Union has banned many hair dye ingredients, United States manufacturers and regulatory agencies remain stubbornly blind to the dangers.

Excerpted from Healthy Beauty: Your Guide to Ingredients to Avoid and Products You Can Trust by Samuel S. Epstein, MD with Randall Fitzgerald. Published by BenBella Books, Inc.

WIN THE BOOK! Leave a comment below for your chance to win a copy of Healthy Beauty. Winner will be announced April 5. Good luck!

15 Toxic Ingredients in Personal Care Products
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Lisa P.

Please email Samantha at to claim your new book. Thanks to everyone who entered!

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Dale O.

Interesting, using natural products is much easier health-wise. Nothing quite like poisons being pushed onto many an unsuspecting public be it in beauty products, the food chain and many other consumer products.

Danuta Watola
Danuta Watola2 years ago

Thanks for this article.

a             y m.
g d c.3 years ago


Joan Mcallister
.3 years ago

Maybe we should go back to the good old days of soap and water

Nancy P.
Nancy P.3 years ago

It just seems that it would be so much easier for companies to make natural produts with few ingredients than a product with a bunch of chemicals. If I can't pronounce the ingredient, I don't buy the product.

Michele Wilkinson

Good information.
Thank you for sharing.

Wong D.
danny Wong3 years ago

A very informative book to alert consumers on the types of harmful ingredients contained in the products. You could make wise decisions before buying.

Ala M.
Ala Morales3 years ago

It doesn't matter where the creams and beauty products are made. They all contain harmful chemicals. I bought a body cream from L'Occitane France which says rich in Shea Butter. When I read the ingredients this cream contains more harmful chemicals than shea butter.
Now I am looking for natural shea butter which is good for your skin. Before I buy any cream I read the labels. When you read the ingredients you be surprised how many chemicals are used which are harmful to your eyes.

Juliet Gomez
Rosie Gomez4 years ago


Jocelyn S.
Jocelyn S.4 years ago

This book sounds great! I would LOVE to read it! I always cared what I put in my body but it wasn't until recently I started realizing how important WHAT I put on my body is also! There are so many products out there that claim to be Natural and Organic but only contain 1 of these ingredients! My current favorite 'good for you' brands are Dr. Brunner's Soaps & Carol Alt's Skin CAre line-- both affordable and trustworthy!